Comparison of survival rates of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with radiotherapy, 5-fluorouracil and vitamin A (“FAR” therapy) vs FAR therapy plus adjunctive cisplatin and peplomycin chemotherapy
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The overall survival rate (OSR) of 36 patients with nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPC) treated at Kyushu University hospital between 1983 to 1992 was analyzed. As primary treatment, 16 patients received a combination therapy of 5-fluorouracil, vitamin A, and radiation (FAR therapy); two patients received radiotherapy only; 18 patients received FAR therapy plus adjunctive systemic chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin and peplomycin. The radiation dose to the nasopharynx was 6000 to 7050 cGy while that to the neck was 4000–6000 cGy. The 5-year OSR of all the patients was 49%. Histological type (moderately differentiated squamous cell carcinoma) and patient age (≥ 55) were found to be significant prognostic factors for a worse OSR. Although survival decreased with increasing T stage, no significant difference was observed. The 5-year OSR of the patients treated with FAR therapy was 53% and was 51% with FAR therapy plus chemotherapy. Compared to FAR therapy alone, adjunctive chemotherapy did not increase OSR of the patients with NPC.